Ocean-Based Climate Solutions in Nationally Determined Contributions

Sectors and Themes
Oceans and Coasts
Expertise Level
Resource Type
Analysis Tools
Developer or Source
Ocean Conservancy

National climate goals under the Paris Agreement (Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs) are currently insufficient to address the climate crisis. Yet the promise of the Agreement is that it created not only an initial set of commitments but also a “ratchet” cycle, in which countries submit NDCs every five years.

Until recently, the international climate effort and the ocean conservation effort have been largely siloed. Although a majority of countries referenced the ocean in their first round of NDCs, only a minority discussed ocean actions as climate solutions. Fewer than 20 percent of countries with coastal blue carbon ecosystems, for example, discussed their role as carbon sinks.

There is increasing recognition of the linkages between the ocean and climate change. As Parties to the Paris Agreement communicate their second round of national climate goals, this policy brief tracks the inclusion of concrete, ocean-based mitigation and adaptation actions. It sorts commitments first by ocean-based solution and then by country. Updates to this brief will post regularly, as countries submit further NDCs.

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Climate Advisers, Conservation International, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Ocean Conservancy, Rare, The Nature Conservancy, World Resources Institute (WRI)